Mich. disabled vets could see property tax relief
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some disabled veterans living in Michigan could get some relief next tax season under legislation being debated in the state Senate.
One bill would allow cities and townships to provide a tax exemption on a veteran's principal home. To qualify, a veteran would have to be honorably discharged, have a taxable income less than about $23,000 and be 100% disabled, a rating determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another bill would mandate that all local governments provide a tax exemption on homestead property for 100% disabled veterans, no matter their income.
Both bills also apply to disabled veterans' surviving spouses.
They recently passed the Senate Finance Committee and are now headed to the Senate floor for consideration.
Law requires 1 form for authorization of medicine
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new Michigan law calls for the creation of a universal form that doctors can use when patients need prior authorization for coverage of prescription drugs.
Bills signed last week by Governor Rick Snyder ask the state insurance commissioner to develop a standard form for physicians when insurers require prior authorization.
Supporters say some forms are too long and each insurer uses a different form, creating extra work for health care providers. A single universal prior authorization form could replace 150 different forms Michigan physicians and their staffs sort through every day from insurance companies.
The law requires insurers to start using a universal form in July 2016.
New smartphone app provides Mich. park information
OKEMOS, Mich. (AP) - A new smartphone application has been developed that will provide users with information about Michigan's parks and other recreational opportunities.
The free custom mobile app called SMART Parks enables local park and recreation departments to reach residents with text alert updates. The app displays park website and event information in a mobile format.
Custom versions can be accessed through websites on any mobile device or downloaded through iTunes and the Android Market. Mobile users can choose which notifications they'd like to receive, such as pool and beach closings, trail conditions and ball game delays.
A number of communities are participating, including Port Huron, Oakland County and Frankenmuth.
The app was developed by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association and Mousetrap Mobile, based in Royal Oak.
Saginaw police: 14-year-olds shot, sitting in car
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Saginaw police say two 14-year-olds were shot while sitting in a car. They're expected to live.
Police spokesman Officer Reggie Williams tells MLive DOT com the shooting happened about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
Lieutenant Robert Ruth says a 16-year-old told police that the teens were passengers in his car. Ruth says the driver told police he'd pulled over when the shooting happened.
Ruth says one teen was hit in the head by a ricochet, while the other was hit in the thigh. He says the teens "didn't give a full story" and aren't saying who shot them or why.
Carjacker takes off with disabled woman in vehicle
COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities in southeastern Michigan say a man stole a car with a 74-year-old disabled woman in the passenger seat, took her money and then fled on foot.
The Oakland County sheriff's department says the carjacking happened Saturday afternoon in Commerce Township, about 25 miles west-northwest of Detroit.
According to the department, the woman's husband stopped at a Subway restaurant while his wife waited in the car. The man says when he came out, the vehicle was gone.
The sheriff's department says the woman called 911 on her cell phone and said the robber left her and the vehicle in Pontiac before escaping on foot.
The department says a deputy with a search dog failed to find the culprit.
Plane flips, pilot unhurt in crash near airfield
SHERIDAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities in western Michigan say a pilot escaped without injury after a single engine plane crashed and overturned near a rural airfield.
The Newaygo County sheriff's department says the accident happened about 2 p.m. Saturday near Fremont Municipal Airport. It's in Sheridan Township, about 20 miles northeast of Muskegon.
MLive DOT com reports that the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.
The cause of the accident wasn't immediately reported.
Suspect ID'd in firebombing of furniture heir home
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) - A 20-year-old man accused of firebombing of the suburban Detroit home of an heir to the Art Van Furniture business has appeared in court.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says Charles Kay is charged in Friday's Molotov cocktail attack on the Grosse Pointe Park home of Gary Van Elslander.
His Van Elslander's father is Art Van Furniture Corporation founder Art Van Elslander.
The firebomb damaged a kitchen window and started a fire that was put out before firefighters arrived. Van Elslander, his wife and other family members were inside.
Kay faces arson and related charges. He was arraigned Sunday in Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Court, given a $35,000 bond and scheduled for a preliminary examination May 29th.
There's no immediate word if Kay has a lawyer.
Stilt walker finishes 354-mile Michigan trek
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - 300-fifty-four miles and thousands of donated dollars later, the "Michigan Stilt Walker" has wrapped up his latest trek across the state.
Neil Sauter (SAW'-ter) arrived in Jackson about 6 p.m. Sunday to finish his fundraising walk for United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan.
He tells The Associated Press he covered about 24 miles on the final day of the walk. He says he took in about $6,500 in cash, as well as online and other donations that raise the total to about $8,000.
The 30-year-old Deerfield resident has mild cerebral palsy. His "Walk for No Limits" began April 12th in Ann Arbor.
He says he's tired and his feet are sore, but that won't stop him from going to work next weekend on the festival circuit.
Memorial weekend pageant at Fort Michilimackinac
MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) - 200 people wearing 18th century clothing will re-enact historical events at Fort Michilimackinac (mih-shih-lih-MAK'-ihn-aw) in Mackinaw City on Memorial Day weekend.
The 51st annual Fort Michilimackinac Pageant is repeated three times over the Memorial Day weekend, with shows at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday and on Memorial day.
Pageant committee President Meghan Michalak tells the Petoskey News-Review the pageant is free, though her group seeks donations.
She says the fort is opened for tours after the pageants at a cost of $11 for adults and $6.50 for children ages 5 through 17.
The French colonized the area in 1671 and built a fort at the site in 1715. The British took it over in 1761. It's now a National Historic Landmark.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN-MED SCHOOL
CMU OKs design spending for Saginaw medical campus
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Central Michigan University trustees have approved an additional $350,000 for planning and design for the Saginaw campus of its new medical school.
The board that governs the Mount Pleasant-based university also has authorized President George Ross to move forward with the start of construction. Trustees are to vote in July on initial construction costs.
Overall, the Saginaw project will cost an estimated $46.5 million.
Phase 1 includes a medical education center on the campus of Covenant HealthCare. Later phases include a facility at St. Mary's of Michigan and renovated space at both hospitals.
Central Michigan receives its first class of medical students this summer. Students will spend their first 2 years in Mount Pleasant.
The College of Medicine will have 400 students at capacity.
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